Everyone knows how important physical health is to your body, but taking care of your mental health is also super vital too. So when it comes to mental health, incorporating mindfulness into your everyday routine can be a fantastic way to reduce stress, anxiety and so much more. Therefore this has become a popular way of improving your mental state and over the years as it is so easy to take a few minutes out of your day to take part in this activity. This is because you are able to seek guidance from books or phone apps to assist you on your journey which we will explore throughout this article on the art of reflection. Within this article we also explore the various ways in which mindfulness can be beneficial to your health. So, to find out all you need to know about this latest trend be sure to read on.

What is Mindfulness?mindfulness meditation

So what is mindfulness you ask? Mindfulness is essentially a form of reflection which can be introduced to your everyday routine very easily. All it requires is you to be able to take some time out of your busy schedules to spend time on yourself and your emotional well-being. During this period of time you are able to look back of parts of our life which you are thankful for and which make you happy in order for you to acknowledge the little things in life. You are also able to become more familiar with your surroundings if you opt to try out meditation in this section of time you set aside for yourself.

How is it Beneficial?

By practising mindful methods into your lifestyle, you will definitely notice multiple positive effects on your mental health and well-being. Through meditation and reflection you will be able to experience an increased level of awareness of objects and the most significant people and moments in your life. This type of practice is suggested for a range of people as it has a number of benefits to your mental state. Below is a list of a few conditions which could benefit greatly from the enhanced mental satisfaction mindfulness brings:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Insomnia

And these are the types of positive benefits mindfulness has on your health:

  • Higher cognitive function
  • Increased immune system
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces heart rate
  • Increased awareness
  • Enhanced attention and focus
  • Improved clarity in thinking and perception
  • Reduces stress and anxiety

Excellent Apps and Books for Mindfulness

Along with researching online tips how to practice being mindful, there are also great phone apps and books which can also assist you with this. These are the most popular choices and below we will go into them in more detail:

  • Apple Watch Breathe
  • Headspace
  • Calm
  • 5 Minute Journal
  • One Line a Day Book

mindfulness headphones

The Breathe application has been produced by Apple to be used with their smart watches. This app helps to improve your stress relief and meditation through controlling your breathing. To do this you can choose a set time frame for this session and it will guide you throughout.

Headspace on the other hand can be downloaded both on Android and Apple products as they have created it with both systems in mind. This application can be used to treat a number of moods through guided meditation with courses catered for your specific needs. For example you can follow a session especially for anxiety or stress and there is even a section for children too.

Calm can also be downloaded on both Android and Apple devices and is targeted at stress and sleeplessness. There are different sections of this application which can help you in more ways than one depending on your requirements. These are:

  • Music
  • Body
  • Sleep Stories
  • Meditating

Music is a collection of calming tunes which you can listen to in order to help you sleep and introduce a feeling of emotional release in stressful situations. Body contains a range of videos which guide you through various movements and stretches to release tension. Sleep is specially designed to improve your sleeping pattern through telling stories as if you were a child again to relax yourself before sleep. And finally, meditating consists of guided talks from a number of specialists who aim to relax you when you are feeling stressed or need to wind down to go to bed.

mindfulness journal

If technology is not your thing, there are a range of books which you can purchase to help you on your journey. One of these is the 5 minute journal which you can get from any book store or Amazon for an affordable price. This book contains pages which have blank lines under a statement or a task for you to fill out. The aim of this therefore it to take ‘5 minutes’ out of your day to fill out a page which help you to reflect on your life and your loved ones.

Like the book mentioned above, another title is One Line a Day which can be bought from a number of online and retail stores. Unlike the journal, this book requires you to only write down 1 line to sum up the best part of your day. These are great because when you need a pick-me-up you can read through the previous entries and re-live your favourite moments of your life to boost your mood. They also help to put into perspective the little things in life through reflection.

Have you Ever Explored being Mindful?

Throughout this blog we have explored the positive benefits of introducing mindful practices into your life. And we have also taken a look at various applications and books which you can use to help incorporate this practice into your lifestyle. However, we want to know if you have tried any of these aforementioned tools or have used any other methods and if they have influenced your life greatly. So find us over on social media where we can talk all things mental and physical health.

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This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury